Ricardo Z.N. Vencio
Clinical Epidemiologist, Bacterial Diseases Programme
What prompted you to submit an article?
I realized that something was wrong in the traditional science communication system when a co-author said that she couldn't get our own published paper. She works in a nationally known cancer research/treatment non-profit institution and couldn't have access to that journal. This fact made me think: if one of the top-ranked institutions cannot read this paper, how about the several other institutions around the country? Since then I decided that, if it is my call, the work should be sent to Open Access journals only.
What was your assessment of the electronic submission and peer review process?
I felt, as an author and as a reviewer, that the peer review process was extremely fair. For example, the reviewers are asked to categorize their concerns as "essential" or "discretionary - the author can choose to ignore". I also felt that there is a genuine will to publish the work if it meets a quality criteria, as opposed to some "we don't have space, sorry" policy widely applied by journals. Finally, many researchers in Brazil (and I'm sure that this is true in other developing countries too, especially non-English speakers) feel that reviews from traditional journals tend to apply "double standards" making even more difficult to publish. I can say that this situation was not true for any of the manuscripts I submitted to BMC, including those rejected.
What do you think you gained from publishing in an open access journal?
I'm sure I gained visibility.
What is your full affiliation?
Computational Biology group
Institute for Systems Biology
1441 North 34th Street
Seattle, WA 98103-8904, USA
What are you working on right now?
I have been working on the creation of mathematical methods for the solution of problems in Biology and Medicine. More specifically, I have been working on transcript enumeration and microarray data, using Bayesian ideas.